Out of many modes and motivations

Ritualisation in Border Karelian Orthodox Christian feast and processions



ritualization, procession, orthodox christianity, pilgrimage, ritual


This article explores a sequence of events, a combination of Orthodox Christian village and chapel festivals, associated processions and a cross-border procession, through the theoretical concept of ritualisation. The sequence of events takes place annually in the Finnish villages of Saarivaara and Hoilola, the Pörtsämö wilderness cemetery and the former Finnish municipality of Korpiselkä, located today in Russia; it attracts participants with religious and other motives, including nostalgia and family history. An analysis is made of how different and sometimes contradictory modes of action are structured and intertwined to form a coherent ritual event. On the basis of original anthropological research undertaken near and over the border between Finland and Russia, in Karelia, it emerges that the ritual mastery by Orthodox priests and shared goals and motives of heritage and culture give the journey a necessary structure, which can be studied and explained in terms of ritualisation.




How to Cite

Kyyrö, J., & Mantsinen, T. T. (2022). Out of many modes and motivations: Ritualisation in Border Karelian Orthodox Christian feast and processions. Approaching Religion, 12(3), 79–93. https://doi.org/10.30664/ar.112872